Throughout his public ministry, Jesus met and was involved with people living with disability. From the crippled man in Matthew 9 to the man born blind in John 9—in each instance, Jesus treated them with dignity and compassion.

Today, sadly, many people with a disability are not treated with dignity or compassion. A number of Anglican Aid’s overseas partners are working hard to change that. This Let Hope Soar appeal highlights their work.

There are many hidden costs of disability for people living in poverty. In some cultures, the mother is blamed for the child’s disability, which is seen as a curse or punishment for something the mother has done. This means that mothers are often shunned and given little help to care for their child. In many places, people with a disability have no prospect of working to support themselves, and are seen as a burden on the family. In many poor communities there is no access to physical aids such as posture chairs, braille books or orthotics that can help people with a disability live a fuller life.

Our disability support partners work with children in South Africa, Tanzania, India, Thailand, Nepal, China and the Middle East. They seek not only to improve the physical well-being of the children, but also to show the love of Jesus to these precious ones.

One of our partners, SOAR China (Special needs, Orphaned and Abandoned children’s Resources), changed institutional care for abandoned children with disabilities to small family group homes where children receive individual love and care. They recently shared the story of Feng* who came to them when he was four, having been abandoned.

Feng spent his first six months with us crying and lying on his bed almost constantly. He was unable to walk or even stand. Our whole village looked at him in despair.

At first there was not much more that his carer could do but to speak gently to him, try to hold him, comfort him, feed him. And slowly he began to calm down for slightly longer stretches of time. We were able, in the calmer times, to start working on his physical strength and teach him to stand holding onto his bed.

He has been able to develop his physical strength and begin to explore his world. He is able to receive love. Now he is almost six, and we rejoice to see him walking independently (even running!), recognising his name and the people in his life. He can communicate through gestures and some basic signs.

He will suffer from the wounds of abandonment for a long time yet, but we are grateful that we have had the privilege of seeing this bright, joyful little boy rescued from the very depths of despair.

Will you join us in helping our partners care for the vulnerable and needy in their communities? By supporting Anglican Aid, you are enabling grace to flow and hope to soar for many people in need around the world, like Feng.

Please consider giving a tax deductible donation to support the work of Anglican Aid.

Direct Deposit donations can be made to our bank account BSB 032078, Account Number 253493, Account Name: Anglican Aid. Please email the office with details of your donation at enquiries@anglicanaid.org.au. Cheques can be posted to – PO Box Q190, QVB Post Office, 1230, NSW. All donations to this project are tax deductible.

 

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